Last year, I was a model for Casa Cares' 12th Annual Charity Fashion Show (girl hand up emoji). Casa Cares, the charity wing of the John Molson School of Business, puts together a fashion show every year to raise funds benefitting The Montreal Children's Hospital Foundation. This event takes months of preparation, many rehearsals, and a lot of amazing volunteers! In that, it's much like an opera.
At the time, I was part of the Ambassador program of the Opera de Montreal and I thought the Fashion Show would be an amazing opportunity to showcase the opera, as well as participate in a great cause. However, the Opera de Montreal couldn't financially sponsor a singer for the event, opera companies always - and very unfortunately - being strapped for cash. Although an opera singer would have made an amazing impact, there was another part of the opera world that fit perfectly into a fashion show: THE COSTUMES! Opera de Montreal has a costume workshop, supervised by Dominique Guindon, in Place des Arts and they were willing to lend Casa Cares five of their most extravagant pieces.
This initiative involved absolutely no monetary cost for the opera house while maximizing exposure to one of their most valued markets, the 30 and under age group. It turned out to be an effective way of showing people a side of opera that is not as often in the spotlight. This is definitely the type of collaboration that takes opera OUT of the opera house and to where its audience is. It makes it current, accessible, and part of the community. Something we would all love to see more often!